13 Dec 2019

Liquidators retrieve Cryptopia customer info from Arizona

2:01 pm on 13 December 2019

Liquidators of the hacked cryptocurrency exchange Cryptopia have travelled to the United States, to retrieve customers' information and certain crypto-assets.

bitcoin onecoin ripple on wooden background and copy space, cryptocurrency money exchange investment concept.

Photo: 123RF

An Arizona-based data centre was the only place where liquidators from the firm, Grant Thornton, were able to gather the material.

Cryptopia was liquidated earlier this year, after it was hacked in January and an unknown but "significant" amount of crypto-assets were stolen.

The Christchurch-based business grew rapidly last year, which saw it invest heavily in technology infrastructure, however when trading fell after the hack, it could not pay its debts.

At that time it had more than 2.2 million users and 37 staff.

The liquidators are awaiting a High Court decision to determine who owns the crypto-assets, which were mixed up together.

They said the process to work out who owns what, was complex and timely, with more than 900,000 active customers and 900 types of crypto-assets involved.

"Customers did not have individual wallets and it is impossible to determine individual ownership," the liquidators' report said.

"While Cryptopia held details of customer holdings and reported these on the exchange, the crypto-assets themselves were pooled in coin wallets."

The wallets had been rebuilt to ensure no "malicious code" was leftover from the hack.

Some money had been recovered and converted from Bitcoin to fund the liquidation, leaving $7.2 million on hand.

It owed $3m to 26 unsecured creditors, down from total liabilities of $4.2m in May.

New Zealand Police and international authorities were still investigating the hack.

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